The Angel jet-fighter combat craft is Spectrum main air defence and strike
force. It was
originally developed by International Engineering from their own 2065 ‘Viper’
Jet, which had previously been commissioned by the World Army Air Force.
However, taking into account the specially designed adaptation for Cloudbase
requirements, and following many updates since its original conception, the
final blueprint of the Angel craft has become vastly different from the Viper
Jet. Therefore, the exact specification of its complete control system and panel
remain one of Spectrum’s closely kept secret.
Each craft takes nine months to build, in various secret locations. International Engineering retains the
design and construction of the craft’s main fuselage, which is made from
hardened Fleetonium allow, with the cockpit made from lightweight transparent Cahelium-extract allow. The engines are built at the Fairfax Company, while other
companies were commissioned to build the rest of the craft’s many components.
The Angel is mainly white in colouration, with black and red marks, and marking
of the Spectrum organisation (Spectrum emblem and the letter ‘A’ for ‘Angel’)
visible from most angles.
A single-seater, the Angel is precision-engineered, and incredibly compact, with
a length of 60 feet. It has a wide wing-span of 35 feet, and weighs 40,100 lbs
(20.05 tons). It has a flight ceiling of 40,000 feet, which is the height of
The Angel is powered by colboltibe fuel, a special form of high-octane liquid
gas, which is distilled from the Spectrum ultra-sonic refinery at Bensheba. Its vast fuel tanks of 500 plus gallons capacity and 51.35MPG, gives
the Angel a range of 25,675 miles at a top speed of 3,000 MPH, enabling it to
complete a mission without refuelling, with the electronics powered by back-up
batteries in case of need.
The tail assembly houses twin turbo-jet compressors, one on each side of the
fuselage, Feeding twin rear-mounted Spectra-Fan ram jets. Bled air serves the
pitch jets, which give control at supersonic speed in rarefied air. Bled air is
used for braking jets, or for reducing air speed quickly. A small but powerful
retro rocket can be added to the bled air for even faster deceleration or
braking. Bled air is also put into use during Cloudbase’s tricky landing
manoeuvres. The Angel can perform Vertical Take-Off and Landing
(VTOL)/Very-Short Take-Off and Landing (VSTOL) procedures. Undercarriage
nacelles, situated at the very tip of each of the craft's wings, contain landing
wheels which will deploy for landing, docking clamp and beam guidance sensor.
A main landing wheel is also housed inside the craft underbelly, just in front
of the cockpit.
The craft carries extra hi-tech electronic devices; the nose probes houses
hyper-sensitive instruments, such air and skin temperature monitors, wind speed
and gust detectors, and radar and radio aerials.
A main cannon is mounted on the nose just in front of the cockpit. This fires a
variety of computer pre-selected ammunition, such as tracer, heat-seeker,
armour-piercing or rocket shells. The craft is also armed with a battery
air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. The Angel Interceptor is also equipped
high-powered smoke radar, and a red smoke signal ejectors.
In 2068, the Angel interceptor's armament was improved with the addition of an
Electron ray discharge cannon, designed to combat the retrometabolic power of a
Mysteron enemy. This new weapon was converted from electron-ray gun into a
compact cannon housed in the nose probe. The cannon works an impulse of
static electricity built up from the thrust of the turbo-jet engines. this is
then converted into electron rays by means of a black-box computer, which is
compacted in the tail fin. Conversion is executed in .074 of a second.
The computer also pre-selects the target and triggers the gun on a time delay
which can be programmed by the pilot.
Rhapsody entering the
interceptor through the underbelly hatch, from the Amber
Within the cockpit, instruments and gunsights are arranged within easy reach and
easy view of the pilot who has all-round visibility through the transparent
canopy. The craft is equipped with a flight computer and auto-pilot, fitted
behind the pilot’s seat. The unique seat of the Angel Interceptor is red, with
yellow safety belt harness. In case of need, the pilot can eject with her seat,
by pulling an emergency lever. This will cause the entire overhead canopy to
safely blow away from the craft, while jet boosters will push the seat upward.
Once the seat is out of the craft, a parachute will deploy to bring the pilot
safely to land.
Standby Angel craft in Maintenance Bay.
Image courtesy of
Model Photography website, with permission.
Three Angel aircraft are constantly positioned on the aerial launch platform on
Cloudbase, clamped in a V formation, and ready for immediate launching. Entry to
the cockpit is made by hydraulic lift from the Cloudbase Amber Room up through
the underbelly hull of the craft, so that the pilot is inserted directly into the cockpit
with her seat. The canopy is also equipped with jacks which permit the
pilot to open it and leave the craft from above.
Within Cloudbase aircraft hangar beneath the flight-deck,
three standby Angel interceptors are stored, constantly checked and re-checked
by the maintenance team and computer-controlled robots, which ensure that
everything is at maximum safety. Every forty-eight hours, the craft are
changed over, so that they would always be in peak working order for the next
The seemingly dangerous landing manoeuvre on Cloudbase is safer than trying to put down a
supersonic 3,000 PMH fighter on a short flight deck; this manoeuvre has to be
performed with only one foot tolerance each way and so can only be done by a
skilled pilot. Helped with docking sensors located on each side of the
craft's air intakes, which use beam guidance system to ensure a safe landing on
Cloudbase, the procedure is performed by putting the aircraft in a stall,
close to a huge flap (2 on the cutaway) powered by hydraulic spring pressure,
and attached to Cloudbase upper deck. This manoeuvre reduces flying speed, but
the momentum carries the aircraft forward in a tail-down position until it makes
contact with the flap; clamps are engaged around the Angel’s landing gear, and
the flap is then lowered to the horizontal position.